Employed or self-employed for tax purposes?

  • Employed or self-employed for tax purposes? 1

Should you be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes?

 When you are likely to be employed? You are likely to be an employee if:

  • You can be told what work to do, as well as how, where and when to do it.
  • You have to do the work yourself.
  • You can be moved from task to task.
  • You are contracted to work a set number of hours and get a regular wage or salary, even if there is no work available.
  • You have an employment contract and work for a business which is not your own and in which you are not a partner.
  • The person or company you work for gives you time off for things like sickness and holidays, which is usually paid subject to the terms of the employment or according to statutory rules.

You are likely to be self-employed if you meet the following tests:

  • You agree to do the work, but you can send someone else to do the job for you, for instance, a builder who can send another person with similar skills in their place.
  • You probably have several customers at the same time. You can do the work how, where and when you like, for example, a writer who agrees to write a book and can write whenever they want to, as long as they meet the deadline set by the contract.
  • You run a business and take responsibility for its success or failure, such as a joiner who has to redo unsatisfactory work and cannot charge the customer for the time spent redoing the work.
  • You provide the main items of equipment or specialist tools you need to do your work, such as a pick-up truck, or scaffolding.

There is information on these issues on the Gov.uk website:

On employment status https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employed-or-self-employed

You may also contact the HMRC Status Customer Service Team on 03000 527450.

Contact us if you would like further help or advice on this subject.